In this post, you’ll find a PDF to help you work on a really cool and useful ostinato that you can use in your drum solos. I call it “The Left Hand E-And” because the left hand plays the middle two 16th note figures on the hi-hat, while the left foot plays quarter notes by closing the hi-hat. The result is a great sounding cymbal pattern with an open sound on the “and.” Another element of the ostinato is bass drum on all the quarter notes.
Glen Sobel, Alice Cooper’s drummer, is the inspiration for this idea–I’ve heard him play this in one of his drum solos.
The best way to understand the essence of this groove is to hear it. Possibly the most famous example of this groove is found on Weather Report’s song “Teen Town,” which features the late monster bassist Jaco Pastorius on both bass and drums (Jaco’s first instrument was drums). Check it out on Spotify. It’s on Weather Report’s best-selling album, “Heavy Weather.”
As cool as the groove is on it’s own, this version, with your left hand playing the hi-hat, makes it possible for you to do more because you can play any other sound source (toms, cymbals) with your right hand. You’re playing open-handed here and that allows your right hand to roam the kit freely. Check out what Glen does in this video below using this idea. He plays it briefly (from :52 to 1:03) and it’s blazingly fast (quarter note = 170).
Cool, right? The downloadable PDF includes 12 exercises to help you begin learning the coordination and independence with this ostinato so you can eventually improvise freely. Here it is: Drum Solo Ostinatos: “The Left Hand E-And” Part One
PS: You’ll notice that there are four BLANK examples on the worksheet. That’s for you–make up four new ideas using this ostinato. Feel free to share them with me in the comments section.